03.01.2020 – February Recap

Check of our recap of our February 2020 programs and events.

Science Saturday: The Five C’s of Arizona

We kicked off February 1st with our Science Saturday celebrating the five C’s of Arizona: cotton, citrus, cattle, copper and climate. This Science Saturday theme was developed by our intern, Xander, as a cumulative project, so a huge thank you to Xander for their hard work researching activities to make this event a success. Participants squeezed their own fresh orange juice, made copper etchings, practiced roping a (plastic) cow, played with solar devices…and more! We also had some cotton on display that was grown right here in Willow Bend Gardens. We were lucky to have the Pioneer Museum–Arizona Historical Society  join us to celebrate the five F’s of Flagstaff (can you guess what they are?)!  Special thanks to C-A-L Ranch for lending a roping cow for this event.  Last but not least, American Conservation Experience (ACE) members volunteered their time at this Science Saturday to help it run smoothly.

First Friday Recycling Center Tour

Did you know every first Friday we offer a free tour of the recycling center? On February 7th, 15 people joined us on our first Friday tour of the center to find out what can and cannot be recycled and how the facility works. Join us at our next  First Friday Recycling Center Tour  on March 6th!

Adult Workshop: Growing and Gardening with Native Plants

The Coconino County Cooperative Extension joined us at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center on February 8th to facilitate an Adult Workshop: Growing and Gardening with Native Plants. Gayle Gratop from the Coconino Cooperative Extension taught this fun workshop, and all participants had a blast. This workshop made us excited for spring and the days of gardening ahead!

Willow Bend Board of Directors Retreat 2020

The Willow Bend Board of Directors and Staff met on February 17th for our Annual Board Retreat to celebrate the past and present, as well as to strategize and dream about the future! Stay tuned to hear all of the wonderful ideas that came out of the board retreat.


Teacher Workshop: Story Maps in the Classroom

Eric Proctor, Wildlife Education Coordinator at Arizona Game and Fish, joined us at Willow Bend on February 22nd + 23rd to facilitate a 2-day “Story Maps in the Classroom” Educator Workshop. This workshop taught educators how to collect and organize data, then they transformed their data into map-centered digital stories through ArcGIS.  Thank you to Eric for joining us, and to the dedicated educators that attended this workshop all weekend so they can use this great tool in their classroom, clubs, and beyond!

Family Science: Eagle Celebration

On February 29th (hooray, leap year!), Willow Bend Environmental Education Center in partnership with AZ Game and Fish, Liberty Wildlife and the  Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience held its Annual Eagle Celebration. The celebration included morning field trips around Lake Mary to view wild bald eagles, as well as three talks at Willow Bend presented by AZ Game and Fish biologists and Willow Bend staff covering eagle ecology, management, and conservation. During the family focused program our young participants became ornithologists for the day and made observations about eagle characteristics, feeding habits, and habitat. One young volunteer got to dress up as an eagle to demonstrate key eagle adaptations.

But the highlight of the event was the appearance of live eagles from Liberty Wildlife: Aurora the adult bald eagle and the Anasazi the golden eagle. The eagles displayed their impressive wingspan and their powerful talons while Joe and Jan Miller, wildlife rehabilitators and bird trainers from Liberty Wildlife, shared information about the birds, conservation efforts, and Liberty Wildlife rehabilitation center. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Eagle Celebration a success!

Intern and Volunteer Spotlight: Xander Wille

Xander finished their internship at Willow Bend in February and we will miss them! Xander was instrumental to helping our many events run smoothly. They helped us prep and plan activities, and also were a huge help in getting the center more organized. Thank you, Xander, for your hard work and we wish you all of the best. Interested in interning or volunteering with Willow Bend? Click here!

Classroom Program and Field Trip Highlights

  • Kinsey Elementary School 4th Graders had programs on both Walnut Canyon and Grand Canyon to prepare for their spring field trips to both locations. Kinsey 5th Graders had programs on water quality.
  • Flagstaff Arts & Leadership (FALA) and Flagstaff Junior Academy (FJA) middle and high schoolers had programs on waste reduction. Willow Bend also facilitated a teacher professional development program at Marshall Elementary School for all teachers as part of our Waste Reduction program.
  • Thomas Elementary School 3rd grade, Puente de Hózhó Elementary School 3rd grade, Knoles Elementary School 4th grade, and Cromer Elementary School kindergarteners had programs on outdoor STEM and stewardship—thanks to the support of the Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff for making these programs possible, and to Flagstaff Unified School District for their partnership.
  • Boys and Girls Club Flagstaff had a fun field trip to the recycling center.
Did Willow Bend visit your classroom in February? Did you learn something new at one of our community events? Submit a small write-up and we will feature it in our blog (content by students encouraged)! E-mail submissions to melissa@willowbendcenter.org.

What’s coming up in March? Join us at these community events:

03/06 (1PM) – First Friday Recycling Center Tour

03/07 (9AM-1PM) Science Saturday: Archaeology Month

03/09 (5-7PM) Willow Bend at STEM Night at NAU Dome

03/28 (10AM-12PM) Adult Workshop: Pine Needle Basket Making

Check out our calendar for more information.

A dusting of snow – February 23rd